Off-Campus Dining

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Off-Campus Dining


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3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Not many restaurants to chose from. Mesino's gets old very quickly. Most restaurants are rather expensive and do not have student discounts.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: I like that there are so many options available for dinner, I just wish there were more late night options and student discounts.

2 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Nothing really around Carlisle besides a handful of restaurants. Fast food further away but without a car, no way to access

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Excellent variety and quality options within walking proximity of campus.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There are a few decent restaurants with various cuisines, but nothing special.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Carlisle has some very diverse places to eat. From the Japanese cuisine at Mount Fuji to the Greek salads and sandwiches at The Back Door Café, you can find a restaurant to fit any taste and budget in Carlisle. Franchise restaurants like Applebee's, Subway, and Panera Bread are all close to campus and popular, yet students love the small local eateries, such as the North Hanover Grille and Issei Noodles just as much. You can expect to find Dickinson students and faculty at any of these places at any given time.

Though some restaurants are farther away, the most popular are those that can be reached on foot or by bicycle—there are more than 20 local eateries within walking distance of the College. Overall, the Borough of Carlisle does a great job attracting unique and tasty restaurants. Dickinson students love going out to eat as much as they love eating in the cafeteria, and students can often be heard raving about new restaurants after they visit them. It is also very popular for students to bring their parents to their favorite Carlisle eateries when they visit, so make sure you make reservations for Homecoming and Parents’ weekend in advance!


Facts & Statistics

Student Favorites
  • Applebee's
  • The Back Door Café
  • Deli Creations
  • George's Subs and Pizza
  • Miseno's
  • Mount Fuji
  • Panera Bread
24-Hour Dining
  • Carlisle Diner
  • Deli Creations
Best Asian
Great Wall Chinese Restaurant
Best Breakfast
Fay's Country Kitchen
Best Healthy
The Good Life Café
Best Pizza
George's Subs and Pizza
Best Wings
North Hanover Grille
Best Place to Take Your Parents
The Back Door Café
Other Places to Check Out
  • Casa Mani
  • Courthouse Common
  • Gingerbread Man
  • The Good Life Café
  • Issei Noodles
  • North Hanover Grille
  • Rillo's
Did You Know?
  • Chicken corn soup, pickled eggs, chicken pot pie, schnitz and nepp, and scrapple are just a few of the Pennsylvania Dutch foods that are common on the dinner tables of central Pennsylvanians.
  • Dickinson has a unique program for students called "Take Your Prof to Lunch." Any time during the semester, students can pick up a voucher from the Student Activities Office to take their favorite professors to lunch, and the college will pick up the check. Participating Carlisle eateries include: Amy's Thai, Backdoor Cafe, California Cafe, A La Tarte, Mandy's Coffee Shop, Salamandra, Piatto, and Butch, Baker, Sandwich Maker.
  • Central Pennsylvanians love their chicken wings. In almost any bar or pub, you can find a variety of wing types from the usual mild and hot to honey mustard and sweet and sour. There is even an annual "Best Wing" contest on City Island in Harrisburg every summer, where area restaurants get to show off their wing-making skills. The winners are some of the most popular bars and restaurants in Central PA.
  • The California Café in Carlisle does a "Flavor of New Orleans" event in late February where they provide beads, feathered masks, and Cajun cooking in a Mardi-Gras themed atmosphere. This event is popular and requires you to purchase tickets that usually sell out right away.
  • The "Old Pomfret Farmer's Market," in operation on Saturday mornings from May to October, sells fresh and locally grown fruits, plants, vegetables, and herbs, along with a large variety of baked goods.

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

Giant Foods
255 South Spring Garden St., Carlisle
(717) 249-8836
Weis Markets
351 East High St., Carlisle
(717) 243-8535

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

Food: American
260 Noble Blvd., Carlisle
(717) 245-2500
Price: $6-$13
Back-Door Café
Food: American
156 W. High St., Carlisle
(717) 249-4310
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Cozy atmosphere makes it a favorite of Dickinson students and faculty awarded "Best Deserts in Carlisle" by Cumberland County magazine.
California Café
Food: California-French fusion cuisine
38 W. Pomfret St., Carlisle
(717) 249-2028
Price: $7-$23
Cool Features: Casual dining setting, lots of original artwork on the walls.
Carlisle Diner
Food: American
800 W. High St., Carlisle
(717) 240-0721
Price: $3-$12
Casa Mani
Food: Desserts, gelato
56 W. High St., Carlisle
(717) 245-2396
Price: $4-$8
Cool Features: Excellent gelato and paninis; nice place to meet with friends or a professor after class
Courthouse Common
Food: Breakfast, sandwiches, soups, paninis, wraps
2 S. Hanover St., Carlisle
(717) 243-8899
Price: $5-$12
Cool Features: Great coffee, bagels, and baked goods; excellent place for studying or hanging out with friends
Deli Creations
Food: Assorted
601 W. Louther St., Carlisle
(717) 243-1182
Price: $6-$12
Cool Features: Take-out and delivery deli and convenience store.
Fay's Country Kitchen
Food: American
203 S. Hanover St., Carlisle
(717) 243-5510
Price: $3-$6
Cool Features: Country-style breakfast food includes biscuits, farm-fresh eggs and Fay's famous hotcakes.
George's Subs and Pizza
Food: Italian
121 W. High St., Carlisle
(717) 243-5809
Price: $5-$8
Cool Features: Right downtown, a favorite pizza joint of Dickinson students
Gingerbread Man Bar and Grill
Food: American
5 S. Courthouse Ave., Carlisle
(717) 245-2500
Price: $6-$14
Cool Features: Bus service that takes you to and from home
The Good Life Café
Food: Healthy, organic
26 N. Hanover St., Carlisle
(717) 249-8747
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Healthy, organic food, combined with live entertainment. Often hosts events for student organizations, such as open mic nights
Great Wall Chinese Restaurant
Food: Chinese
950 Walnut Bottom Rd. Carlisle
(717) 243-6600
Price: $6-$14
Cool Features: Authentic Chinese food, voted No. 1 by readers of the Carlisle Sentinel year after year.
Issei Noodles
Food: Asian fusion
54 W. High St., Carlisle
(717) 243-7826
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Nice ambiance with a large, private back room that is great for big groups or birthday dinners
Miseno's Pizza and Ristorante
Food: Authentic Italian cuisine
1225 Ritner Highway, Carlisle
(717) 258-0330
Price: $6-$12
Cool Features: A favorite pizza place of Dickinson students and faculty; features a call-ahead service.
Mount Fuji
Food: Sushi, Asian
149 N. Hanover St., Carlisle
(717) 243-2788
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: One of the most popular weekend dining spots in Carlisle because of its incredible sushi-you're sure to see at least three tables of people you know
North Hanover Grille
Food: American
39 N. Hanover St., Carlisle
(717) 241-5517
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: All-you-can-eat pasta nights, wing nights, and seafood nights
Panera Bread
Food: Italian-style bakery
80 Noble Blvd., Carlisle
(717) 218-5023
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Variety of baked breads, sandwiches, soups, in a casual dining setting.
Food: Regional Italian cuisine
22 W. Pomfret St., Carlisle
(717) 249-9580
Price: $5-$18
Cool Features: Located in a Victorian era home and serves traditional cuisine from all of Italy's twenty distinct regions, outdoor seating available from May to September.
Super Buffet
Food: Chinese, American, Italian, Sushi
40 Noble Blvd., Carlisle Commons, Carlisle
(717) 249-2298
Price: $10-$15
Cool Features: Buffet-style with something for every taste

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 45 responses

Very poor
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Student discounts
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

How would you rate the diversity of off-campus dining options?    Based on 47 responses

  • 38% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
  • 38% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 4% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 19% An endless repetition of the same few places.
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